Praz-Delavallade Projects is pleased to present Right Turn at Rabbit Road, an exhibition of new paintings and objects by Eric McHenry. This is McHenry's first exhibition with Praz-Delavallade.
A reception for the artist will be held on Friday, February 17th from 6:00-8:00pm at 6150 Wilshire Boulevard.
'In the beginning was the car, and the car was with art, and the car was art...the visual language of the Baroque in these magical automobiles, in the way the smooth folds of steel and the hundreds of coats of transparent lacquer caught the light and held it as the cars slipped through the bright streets like liquid colour—like Caravaggio meets Bernini, on wheels.'
Eric McHenry was born in Flora, Illinois on a family farm filled with horses, quail and emu, and got deep into to skate culture and conceptual art as an adolescent in Asheboro, North Carolina, but it wasn't until he relocated to California at the age of 19 that he became the tireless draftsman he is today. Throughout his first decade in Los Angeles, McHenry embarked on a series of narrative-based works on paper that investigated war, travel, religion, music, and the creation of manmade and natural landscapes. 'There were always tools for creating in the work and I was interested in playing God to a sense,' says McHenry. 'Freezing time and directing motion in an uncanny way.'
Right Turn at Rabbit Road, McHenry's solo debut with Praz-Delavallade Projects, will be the first exhibition of his oil paintings. Filled with magical creatures (ranging from horses with feathered tails to a primate brandishing a crucifix), a landscape in motion from the perspective of a rollercoaster, titanic vessels and various motorcraft hovering in space, and a series of painted and constructed road assemblages—made with oil, canvas, wood, and diecast cars manufactured in Chicago in the 1950's—McHenry's mysterious mise-en-scene evokes a surreal world orbiting around Los Angeles thoroughfares. Broomsticks fly over grassy plains, cannonballs crash through paddocks and ponds shaped like bunnies appear out of nowhere. Many compositions contain juxtapositions of shiny and rough elements, a nod to the analog/digital divide. There's no man behind the wheel in McHenry's throwback mindscape, a hesh reduction of Edward Hopper and Grant Wood through the eyes of a Midwestern-born, Southern-raised Angeleno.
'Though the world is roaring out of this RECENT slumber, I've always been more interested in a slow–paced experience of life,' says McHenry, who is also creating a series of paintings and painted objects INVOKING REST AND RELAXATION. 'It's the world I want to live in.'
Over the past decade Los Angeles-based artist McHenry has published numerous books including Only Verse, a collection of poetry (illustrated with his drawings) and Piccolo Vignette, a book of portraits made on hotel stationery. His work has been the subject of solo shows in and around Los Angeles and group shows in New York, Europe and Australia.
Press release courtesy Praz-Delavallade.